CUYAHOGA COUNTY, Ohio — Cuyahoga County Chief of Staff Earl Leiken announced Monday that he will be stepping down from his position early next year after being diagnosed with a muscular condition.
Leiken, who will turn 77 in January, said he has been experiencing periodic bouts of pain on the left side of his head for six months, and was diagnosed at University Hospital with a muscular condition, according to a news release from the county. Leiken is currently under treatment with UHHS.
Doctors urged Leiken to take a less demanding position or retire in order to preserve his heath, the release states.
Leiken expressed his appreciation to County Executive Armond Budish for the privilege of serving with him, and regrets that his tenure will not be longer.
“The County is doing great and important work. I am sorry that I will not be able to participate in all that we have planned,” Leiken said. “I have very much enjoyed my time with the dedicated staff and wish everyone the very best.”
Budish said he is grateful that Leiken took up the position, and that he is sorry to see him go.
“Earl has been a terrific and effective Chief of Staff,” said County Executive Armond Budish. “I am truly grateful for the way in which he stepped in when I asked him to and I also support his choice, though I am sorry to see him go. I and my entire leadership team will miss him.”
Leiken was appointed Chief of Staff by Budish in February of 2018.